Crystal structure determination of a new LaPO4 phase in a multicomponent glass ceramic via 3D electron diffraction
A glass ceramic from the MgO-Al2O3.SiO2 system containing additives of ZrO2, TiO2, La2O3 and P2O5 was investigated. Via x-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) and Transmission electron microscopy(TEM) the crystalline phases present could be identified as MgAl2O4 (Spinel), orthorhombic ZrTiO4 and a polymorph of LaPO4 with a previously unknown crystal structure. The crystal structure of this LaPO4 phase was solved ab initio via 3D ED Data. The polymorph occurs in a distorted barite structure type in the same space group (P21/n) as the stable monazite type polymorph, however the density is higher and the La has a higher coordination number. Furthermore the LaPO4 is present in a spinodal relict microstructure. Potential explanations for the presence of this metastable polymorph are pressure due to residual stresses from the crystallization or surface effects due to the high surface area resulting from the spinodal relict structure.
Glass and Mineral Materials, Fraunhofer-Institut für Silicatforschung, Würzburg, Germany
Institute of Applied Geosciences, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany; Centre for High Resolution Electron Microscopy, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany